* Oh, look. A blog! Turns out we only have two guests at the Auto Show, so we believe Matt is up to the task by himself.
I do give props to the auto show for the humor on the back of their media passes. It has several rules like, “A government-issued photo ID must be presented for admission” and “Duplication of credentials is illegal and will be prosecuted.” The last one says, “Please remember that I didn’t know until this day that it was Barzini all along.”
Are you kidding me? How awesome is that? (If you don’t get it, rent this and get back to me.)
* Even though I don’t have to babysit the Auto Show, I do have to babysit some high school kids today. Zoraida has a tour group coming in. My job? To discourage them from pursuing journalism as a career. First, it will save them the heartache of being laid off like every journalist will be over the course of the next decade. Second, keeping the youngsters out of the profession means less competition for me.
* My first contribution to the Mothership is live. Enjoy Rebound to Romance: The Drew Peterson Way.
* Speaking of Drew, his fiancee is hoping for a summer wedding. They’re registered at Bed, Bath and You’ll Never Find the Body. (ALLEGEDLY!)
* Some poor clown who’s never heard of Google image search just paid $37,500 for a nude picture of Madonna. Yikes. There must be prettier girls who are willing to bare all for half that.
* Speaking of baring all, some British fashion designers have come up with a dress that dissolves in water. Allow me to quote Zoraida – “I would like the disappearing dress. I would wear it on air.” Hot.
* Here’s more information than you ever cared to know about Friday the 13th. I am not superstitious, so I do not fear this day. I mean, what tragedy is going to befall me the day before Valentine’s Day? Am I going to become even more single? Impossible.
* While you mull how awful it must be to be me, consider the five most tragic love stories in history.
* NBC5 subscribes to a service called STNGWire. It supplies us with breaking news throughout the city. Today’s story on the parking meter rate hike blew me away. Check out these first few lines…
One quarter weighs 0.2 of an ounce, which isn’t much — you barely feel it.
But 28 quarters weigh as much as a billiard ball — liable to rip a hole in your pocket.
And 28 quarters are what it’s going to take, starting Friday, to park for two hours at a Loop parking meter under the city’s new privatization agreement.
Whoever wrote that needs a promotion. Because THAT is some of the best writing I’ve read in a long, long time.
* And now… 5 things men must know about women. The omitted number 6? All of them think Drew Peterson is dreamy.
* A hideous woman has her hideously long fingernails broken in a car crash. (She holds the world record for the longest nails. And for person I’d least like to meet.) Yes, the link contains a picture of her freak show nails.
* Since I didn’t have to go to the Auto Show, Rob started flailing his arms like a Muppet, demanding that I generate “the greatest blog ever.” For bonus content, I reach back to an article I wrote for my college newspaper. Not much has changed in the decade or so since I wrote this…
Valentine’s Day marred by British perversions
Originally published in The Western Herald – February 20, 2001
As I sat home alone on Valentine’s Day, I began analyzing my situation. Why was I home alone? Why should I not be? That’s when I changed to The Learning Channel, and beheld the insidious TV program that surely thwarted me – Desmond Morris’ “The Human Sexes.”
Since its initial showing on American TV in 1997, TLC has rerun this BBC documentary series about three times a year. Every time it is shown, I cease all other activity and watch each episode to completion.
Morris is a likable enough chap. He’s got a fine British accent and one of the most structurally sound comb-overs in recorded history. It is this voice, coupled with the bizarre televised images that come to mind whenever I witness or participate in male-female interaction.
I remember, with frightening clarity, the comparison of the penis bones of a hedgehog and a walrus. Most male mammals have an “os” penis, which means they can get their jungle-freak on without the hassle of achieving an erection. Morris explains this relates to the subtle visual signals sent by women in order to facilitate human male arousal.
The mere thought of needing a penile bone shaft is frightening enough to a normal guy like me, but the fact that Desmond Morris felt comfortable enough to lift and examine such bones on national TV is horrifying on its own merit. Because of the context of the series, however, such images are burned in my mind.
Take this direct quote from one episode. “Young adults, the world over, gyrate in front of one another, enacting symbolic locomotion that goes nowhere. We call it ‘dancing.’ Energetic actions of the dancers suggest vigorous physical qualities that translate well into strong procreative potential.”
Well, thank you for the tricorder reading, Mr. Spock.
Also perplexing is Morris’ frequent use of the word “fecundity,” which isn’t something you hear on your average TV program. Essentially, it means “fertility,” but “fertility” isn’t good enough for a smart bloke like ol’ Des. The repeated use of such terms, coupled with all the analysis of male-female interaction would make the following scene more than likely.
Me: Hello, I am a male currently without pair-bond, and I was interested to assess your fecundity. Please respond with your availability, or lack thereof, by displaying signals of mutual affection or disinterest, in accordance with your current mating status.
Random Girl: Get away from me, freak!
Observe this statement by Morris, regarding the back alley surgery on a young boy in the Philippines, who pays a man with dirty fingernails to slit open his penis and insert several green BB pellets. “The new, improved penis will be covered in small, hard protruding lumps. These will bring two rewards to their proud owner. They will provide extra stimulation for his female sex partners and, perhaps even more importantly, they will add considerably to his sexual status among his male friends.”
A) This kid’s penis is neither new, nor improved. He’s got a big scar and plastic BB pellets in it.
B) If this kid does get “two rewards,” they are probably a rampant bacterial crotch infection and the nickname “Castanets” when he wears corduroys.
C) I have male friends. I don’t want to know if they’ve ever had plastic BB pellets surgically implanted in their genitals. I also don’t want to see blurry videotape footage of the surgery performed by a man with blackened fingernails in a dirty Filipino back alley.
D) If my friend did get such a surgery, his sexual status would not be enhanced. Rather, I would run away from this person before he tried to show me Mr. Lumpy.
With such visual images dancing a perverse do-si-do in my brain, I walk a tightrope between insanity and terror. How could I experience a normal, romantic Valentine’s Day without the thought that if I lived in the Philippines, I would probably be totally psyched about my surgically disfigured member? Such thought is too much for one man to bear.
Morris also makes frequent mention of the traits all societies find attractive: youth, health and symmetry. Symmetry? Great, now we have to bring rulers and protractors to find a significant other. (“Gee, Cindy, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve discovered that your left nostril is a full three degrees askew from the bridge of your nose, compared to your more attractive and perpendicular right nostril.”)
All this anthropological analysis is interesting, but depressing. How can mere mortals stack up against the Kevin Sorbos or the Skeet Ulrichs or the Pat Sajaks of this world? Surely, their symmetry and gender displays are far greater than the common man.
I used to think love was something beautiful and artistic that could not be categorized. Now I know better. Desmond Morris has taught me that love is nothing more than a biochemical response that can be predicted by computers that analyze the opposite sex with the romantic precision that only binary code can bring.
I should have expected to spend Valentine’s Day alone. My fecundity is not appropriately displayed according to Euclidean geometry. Damn you, Desmond Morris.
(You can see the first episode below. Scholarly nudity within.)